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Transalps

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 6:28 pm
by bikenav
Inspired by Steve T's, Ullapool Post, had a 99 alp for a good few (10+)years did Euro,Moroc, and lots of UK with it, became a winter hack replaced by a GS 12 as a Sunday best bike. I did 60K+ on the Alp never had need to take the petrol tank off, dont think I ever saw a component with oil on it other than drain plugs the whole time I had it . What an engine eh, boring as dishwater though. The cycle parts another matter all together, forks, exhaust, rims,spokes, even the swingarm rotted away. Bulletproof boring engine, high quality/super reliable electrics,low performance/low quality chassis. The BMW a far better ride, road or trail, inherently as tough, a bit finiky at times, which you will need far more tools for, not saying its unreliable or bad far from it actually, mine anyway. the (Italian built) Alp boring a stalwart of a bike but handy to have a mig welder nearby and or spend a lot of time cleaning I did'nt, I did though improve my welding skills. Main Point of this If you own one not a place you may often inspect but take a look underneath at the gusset between the two arms of the swingarm, mine was scary rotten. P.S if you own a black 99 one without any needle bearings in the dog bones just plain bearings say hello to the old girl for me, we parted company a few years ago now- good memories though. Highlights Solo Moroc Trip, and passing workmate's in one of them old sporty Clio's from back in the day on a bend,whilst sliding in fifth gear and them laughing about it the next day.

Re: Transalps

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 6:55 pm
by catcitrus
I have a 96 Alp--the first year with a proper Ignition Module(the only electronics on it!!), but still single disc. Mine has about 46k on it--bought a couple of years ago, and it had been well looked after--basically original paint in very good condition. I have had the rising rate and shock out to clean and check--all fine (with lots of marine anti corrosion grease as is required if you ride offroad). I have fiddled a bit with mine--aftermarket taller screen, rear pannier frames, 12V outlet, charging indicator, LED spots. I would say that the frame finish is fine PROVIDED that the bike has a decent history of being looked after. The handling as stock is surprisingly good--better by far than my previous 1050 Tiger, even though it had Hyperpro suspension!. The engine will never set the world alight, but use the throttle and some revs and you will be pleasantly surprised--its perfectly adequate for 70+cruising. I think the "problem", if you can call it that, is the fact that the engine is so smooth (its a twin plug 3 valver WITH NORMAL TAPPET ADJUSTMENT). Mine came with a quality stainless GRP muffler. I have made my own one piece carbon/kevlar bashplate. Having ridden it offroad it behaves quite well for a biggish bike--Honda got it right. I would NEVER use a big 1200 GS tank offroad--they are a complete liability if they go much off a smooth forestry track--I've spent many a happy hour pulling the behemoths out of slightly nadgery trail obstacles with others when we were joined by Ewan "wanabees " on a trail run (I stick to 250s if its a bit nadgery--the Alp is a "road" bike---but will tackle dirt roads well.) Mine is a keeper--starts on the button, is supremely comfortable on a run, 50 mpg plus, simple and easy to maintain--and cost me 1k, not 11k plus! A bike is for riding, not looking at!
Transalp with bashplate July 2019 1.jpg
Transalp with bashplate July 2019 1.jpg (207.56 KiB) Viewed 504 times

Re: Transalps

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:13 pm
by bikenav
catcitrus, I have owned the Alp And the GS used them both in similar fashions, from my experience of riding both, your talking bollocks, Next time your down in Wales on your Alp contact me I'll take you out for a spin to prove it.

Re: Transalps

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:09 pm
by Steve T
Glad I've inspired someone to do something - a 1st for me :D

My current Alp is my 2nd running Alp (can't really count the other one I had, a '89 version, as it was a spares supply bike that I got for a good price :D ). I've had a 650 version as well, but I found it lacking when compared to the 600.
I've also had 4 x XRV750 Africa Twins and for me the 600 engine is the smoothest of the bunch. That, combined with the reduced weight when compared with the @, makes the 600 Alp the V-twin engined bike from Honda to own.

I'm with catcitrus regards the engines performance - use the available rev range and the old girl will lift it's skirts in a most un-Alp like fashion.

Regarding the build standard of the frame - it holds up well if looked after and checked regularly. I have seen Alps that have had little or no time spent on cleaning - they, like any machine, suffer the affects of riding on British roads in all weathers. And no, I'm not an Autosolv addict. My bikes get used through out the year, getting hosed down regularly through the winter when the hose isn't frozen (and get slooshed with cold water from a watering can when the hose is frozen).

The need to look after the rear suspension is known to me and is looked after with an annual strip, clean and re-grease.

This machine works for me, over all the types of terrain I've ridden over on it and it's redecessor.

Steve T

8-)

Re: Transalps

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:18 pm
by catcitrus
talking bollocks about the GS 1200 on a Welsh trail--I think not!---personally I wouldn't attempt any trails in Wales on the Alp, even with good knobblies. I have a WR250R and a Super Sherpa. I have also ridden most of the trails in Wales over the years and struggle enough when the rocks and mud get really gnarly. You are obviously a riding god that can manage a big beast under any conditions. I might add that we have a 81 G/S , and that has done the MCC Exeter trial. That G/S is far more suited to offroad being 168 kg --actually slightly lighter than the Alp. The 1200 GS is about 230 kg with taller seat etc.

Re: Transalps

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:10 pm
by mark vb
I can proudly put my hand up to Transalp ownership. Always fancied a 600 and managed to get hold of a 50th Anniversary (i.e. 1999 model) around 9 months ago. It's had nothing done/replaced as it's only covered 3750 miles (except for renewing of the seat covering which the previous owner had spilt some solvent on, resulting in a number of unpleasant brown spots staining the OEM vinyl).
I love the fact it's seen as a 'boring', dependable bike - it will still be going strong when most other bikes have died and no new IC ones are available after we all go electric in 10 yrs time - but then I'm a Hondaphile through and through.

Re: Transalps

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:16 pm
by bikenav
Nope not a riding God just an Adventure Bike Rider, and as such I enjoy a certain level of challenge , ridden many trails certainly not all I know my limits also have other trail bikes. Really like the WR 250R myself but as I only have less than 29" legs found it too tall. See you out there on the trail one day maybe, dont worry I wont ask you for any help. Good night.

Re: Transalps

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:01 am
by dodursley
I currently have a naked TA600 and have owned an assortment of 600s & 650s since the early 1990s.
I like them they tick most of the things I want from a bike and they are fairly simple. They were never intended to be Dakar replicas but a middle weight tourer/adventure bike with some light off road capability-a softroader.
Very suited to the local green (in the middle) lanes with poor surfaces that I often ride through, but comfortable on A roads to get there.

Re: Transalps

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:40 am
by boboneleg
I've owned/sold five Transalps over the years, three 600's and two 650's (one of them went to Dave (dodursley). I call them the easiest bike in the world to ride, utterly reliable and will even do a bit of off-roading if you don't mind the suspension bottoming out now and again :mrgreen:

I would never rule out owning another one but most of the 600's are getting a bit long in the tooth now.

Re: Transalps

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:48 am
by Richard Simpson Mark II
How times change...I recall a certain P Blezzard doing the Lands End Trail on the then-new TransAlp back in the mid 1980s.

It was, in those days, regarded as really big and powerful for a trail bike.

IIRC it was pretty tattered and torn when it was handed back to Honda!

I have to say, I quite liked them....did consider buying one back in the day, but opted for the superb and ultra-reliable Aprilia Pegaso 650 instead.